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Lifehack Presents: The Path Mini User Guide

Lifehack Presents: The Path Mini User Guide

    Sick of the massiveness and lack of intimacy on the larger social networks (ie Facebook, Google+, and Twitter)? Looking for a way to share with who you want and not have your entire life story in the lime-light?

    This is where the “newish” social network Path comes in.

    The premise

    Path is a “smart journal that helps you share life with the ones you love”. It’s based on the concept of Professor Robin Dunbar’s research regarding the number of trusted relationships that one can maintain which is believed to be 150. That means you can only have 150 friends on Path making it feel way more intimate and “exclusive” than other networks. Something else that adds to this feeling is that Path is only available for iPhone and Android.

    Sign up and interface

    Signing up for Path is as easy as any other service. Download the iPhone or Android app and then create an account with your email and password.

      The Path’s “Home” presents you with a timeline of your friends, a small avatar of yourself that will take you to your own timeline, a “Customize” block behind your avatar where you can choose your own photo, the “Chooser” that you can use to post your photos, videos, location, etc., and buttons to get to your left and right menus (you can also swipe left or right to get to your settings or friend menus).

      Adding friends

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        To add new friends swipe left and tap the “Add Friends” option. Once there, you can add friends by inviting from your contact list, searching Facebook, inviting them via email, or even choose some of the “Suggestions”. Suggestions are friends of friends.

        You can also search Path for people via the search box at the top of the “Add Friends” screen.

        Settings

          To get to Path’s settings, swipe right from “Home” and choose “Settings”.

          You can choose whether you want the “Neighborhood” setting on which updates your Path automatically when you change location. You can set all of your identification as well as you bio picture and home “Cover”. Also, you can control your notifications of Path events by tapping and highlighting either the phone or email symbol to control where you see your notifications.

            Sharing

            Sharing on Path is easy and probably one of the biggest reasons people love it. You share by tapping the “Chooser” button on the bottom left and then choosing one of the pop-out options below.

             

            Pictures and videos

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              In the picture sharing screen you can choose what type of photo “lens” you want to use by tapping “Lens” and then scrolling through the different effects. Also, you can tap the blur button to the bottom left to create a circular or line blur in your picture. With the blur option on, you can drag the center of it around as well as re-size it with pinching and zooming.

              There are other standard camera controls like auto or manual flash, flipping the camera from front to rear, touch focus, a select video or photo button at the bottom left, and the video and camera toggle at the bottom right.

              People

              Choosing the people option gives you a list of your friends and contacts. You can then choose one or more and hit the next button at the top right. At the “Post” screen, you can fill in a note and even your location (location details are below).

              You will also notice at the bottom right you have some social network toggles for Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare. To sign into these services simply click on the service you want to post to and then connect your account. For sharing on Foursquare you will need to pick a location first.

              You will also notice at the bottom of the “Post” screen a small padlock. This allows you to make your post private meaning that only you will have access to it.

              Places

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                Tapping on places will give you a map with all the nearby places (at least the ones that have been shared or are register with Google Maps). You then simply pick a place and you will be forwarded to the Post screen.

                A nice touch to the “Places” option is that if you are somewhere that isn’t listed automatically you can use the search box and then click the “Not Found?” option to create it. If you don’t see the options just scroll all the way to the bottom of the list to find it.

                  Music

                  One of my favorites. Choose “Music” and then search for whatever you are listening to. You can even tap the small play button on the album cover of the search results to hear the song. After choosing the song you are directed to the Post screen to finish up.

                  Thought

                  Type in whatever you are thinking or want to say. After that you can do the usual Post screen behavior and then post by tapping “Save”.

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                  Sleep/Wake

                    Another nice touch. Tapping the small moon button gives you two choices; “Go to Sleep” and “I’m Awake”. Tap on the sleep button and you are given a nice moon screen that displays how long you slept for. Tapping on the I’m Awake button posts to your Path how long you slept for and a sometimes squirrelly little message.

                    Commenting

                      After you start creating some moments on Path and see other moment from your friends, you will want to comment. Commenting is easy. Tap the small smiley face next to the moment you want to comment on. You can then pick a smiley and leave a comment by tapping the Comment box. You’ll notice that if many people saw this moment that you can scroll through their avatars to see them all.

                      Locals

                      When someone posts their location you can tap on it. You will then be taken to the “Locals” screen which will tell you the number of people on Path that are in your general vicinity as well as show you the list of your friends that are there too. This is a cool way to see who in your “trusted Path network” is around you.

                      Conclusion

                      The beauty of Path is that it is easy and intuitive to use as well as beautiful. Also, because of features like making certain posts private you can use Path for more than just sharing things with your close friends and loved ones; you can keep things that only you want to have access to. Hopefully this short guide can get you started with one of the newest and freshest social networks around.

                      More by this author

                      CM Smith

                      A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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                      Last Updated on October 15, 2019

                      To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System

                      To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System

                      We are all about doing things faster and better around here at Lifehack. And part of doing things faster and better is having a solid personal productivity system that you use on a daily basis.

                      This system can be just about anything that helps you get through your mountain of projects or tasks, and helps you get closer to your goals in life. Whether it’s paper or pixels, it doesn’t really matter. But, since you are reading Lifehack I have to assume that pixels and technological devices are an important part of your workflow.

                      “Personal Productivity System” defined

                      A personal productivity system (at least the definition that this article will use) is a set of workflows and tools that allow an individual to optimally get their work done.

                      Workflows can be how you import and handle your photos from your camera, how you write and create blog posts, how you deploy compiled code to a server, etc.

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                      Tools are the things like planners, todo managers, calendars, development environments, applications, etc.

                      When automation is bad

                      You may be thinking that the more that we automate our systems, the more we will get done. This is mostly the case, but there is one very big “gotcha” when it comes to automation of anything.

                      Automation is a bad thing for your personal productivity system when you don’t inherently understand the process of something.

                      Let’s take paying your bills for example. This may seem very obvious, but if you can’t stick to a monthly budget and have trouble finding the money to make payments on time, then automating your bill payment every month is completely useless and can be dangerous for your personal finances.

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                      Another example is using a productivity tool to “tell you” what tasks are important and what to do next. If you haven’t taken a step back and figured out just how your productivity systems should work together, this type of automation will likely keep you from getting things done.

                      You can only automate something in your personal productivity system that have managed for a while. If you try to automate things that aren’t managed well already, you will probably feel a bit out of control and have a greater sense of overwhelm.

                      Another thing to remember is that some things should always be done by yourself, like responding to important emails and communicating with others. Automating these things can show your coworkers and colleagues that you don’t care enough to communicate yourself.

                      When automation is good

                      On the other hand, automation is a great thing for your personal productivity system when you understand the process of something and can then automatically get the steps done. When you know how to manage something effectively and understand the step-by-step process of a portion of your system, it’s probably a great time to automate it.

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                      I have several workflows that I have introduced in the last year that takes some of the “mindless” work from me so I can be more creative and not have to worry about the details of something.

                      On my Mac I use a combination of Automator workflows, TextExpander snippets, and now Keyboard Maestro shortcuts to do things like automatically touch-up photos imported from my iPhone 4S or open all the apps and websites needed for a weekly meeting to the forefront of my desktop by typing a few keys. Once you open yourself up to automating a few of your processes, you start to see other pieces of your system that can benefit from automation.

                      Once again; none of this works unless you understand your processes and know what tools you can use to get them done automatically.

                      The three steps to determine if something is “ripe” for automation

                      If your workflow passes these three steps, then automate away, baby:

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                      1. You can do this process in your sleep and it doesn’t require your full, if any form of attention. It can (and has been) managed in some form prior to automating it.
                      2. The process is time consuming.
                      3. The process doesn’t require “human finesse” (ie. communicating and responding to something personally)

                      Automating your personal productivity systems can be a great for you in the long run if you are careful and mindful of what you are doing. You first need to understand the processes that you are trying to automate before automating them though. Don’t get stuck in thinking that anything and everything should be automated in your life, because it probably shouldn’t.

                      Pick and choose these processes wisely and you’ll find the ones that take up most of your time to be the best ones to automate. What have you automated in your personal productivity system?

                      Featured photo credit: Bram Naus via unsplash.com

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